Andrew Neil reviews the political week with Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry, with a film rounding up the headlines from Kate.
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There is a mist coming
in. Something is brewing, about to
begin. Could it be this week? Here
it is practically perfect in every
# A spoonful of sugar helps the
medicine go down.
Kate Andrews hopes a spoonful of
sugar will have the medicine go
Yes, I do, Andrew. But I think
the NHS may need more than a
sweetener or two. I know it is
unpopular but Donald Trump has a
point about the National Health
Kate McCann round-up the political
Votes for this week! Votes for
Is anybody actually watching?
And drag queen Courtney Act thinks
we should take a jolly holiday from
You know what,
Andrew? You are not bad for a bloke,
but for the sake of humanity can we
sweep away gender stereotypes?
Thanks, Courtney. All that coming
up. Before we begin, let me make one
thing clear. This week never
Welcome to This Week,
the East Coast Mainline
of bankrupt late night TV.
We started out 15 long years ago,
a child of the state.
But then we were privatised
and lived high on the hog.
We went bust.
So the state took us
back into its care.
Then, with a casual disregard
for recent history,
we were privatised again.
Trebles all round.
Until we went bust.
Forcing us once more
into the warm if somewhat stale
embrace of the state.
They've even thrown in the Newsnight
franchise just to keep us sweet.
"It's time the BBC stood up
to the 35 hardcore incompetents
who've presided over this farce,"
"It's time we slung 'em out."
Until Molly the Dog put me back
on my medication, and pointed
out that without them
there would be no show.
So, at great sacrifice,
I'm taking a pay cut instead.
I'm told it's very fashionable among
men of a certain age
in the BBC these days.
Speaking of those who've failed
to shine in the public
or the private sector,
I'm joined on the sofa tonight
by two politicians who couldn't
even get citizenship
in Jacob Rees Mogg's vassal state.
I speak of course of
Alan #SadManonTheLeft Johnson
and Anna #ProperTory Soubry.
Welcome to you both.
moment of the week? Kaan Ayhan two?
No. Tuesday, big moment of the week.
A great site to see all those women,
Tory women MPs. The celebration of
almost all women getting the vote.
100 years ago. I think it's quite
interesting. I am a feminist but I
don't wear my womanhood, if you
like, in the jobs I have done, which
have been mainly male dominated
business, industry sec set. But
these young Tory women were there
with their rosettes and their
Suffragette women's -- ribbons and
they were proud of it. And then
Harriet Harman, who has done so much
for women in politics, really brave.
Great stuff. And Theresa May, the
second female Prime Minister just
happens to be a Tory. She also has
done a great deal.
And glad we're
not making any party political
Alan? Normally I wouldn't
talk about railways. I have to go
back to your splendid introduction.
For the 15 years this programme has
been on I have travelled the east
coast railway. I started off on
Gianni. They lost the track --
franchise. I was them with National
Express, then someone else in the
middle. Then I was back with a state
owned East Coast rail line.
owned East Coast rail line. Then it
went to Stagecoach Virgin.
went to Stagecoach Virgin.
sorry for interrupting you.
into the next one. Chris Grayling
came to parliament last week and
said Stagecoach Virgin was wrapping
up. But he could well give them an
extension. It is the best argument,
the east Coast, for taking the
railways back into public ownership.
And I am not a private sector bad,
public sector good kind of
politician. It is a kind of open
door. It is the kind of thing that
if Theresa May was going to do
something radical, and that is a
surprise, she would go down that
route. Or that Railtrack.
have two nonparty political points.
It was former Tory Chancellor Nigel
Lawson who said the NHS
was the closest Britain had
to a national religion,
which folks criticised
at their peril, and whose insatiable
demand for more resources
politicians had no
choice but to feed.
So when President Trump tweeted
that the NHS was not working,
there was predictable outrage
from across the political spectrum
at such ignorant blasphemy.
Of course, it did not help that
Mr Trump was using in evidence
a British demonstration calling
for more NHS, not less.
Subtlety - or facts - is not always
The Donald's strong suit.
But did he have a point?
Is the NHS really the envy of
the world, as even Tory politicians
like to claim these days?
Here's Kate Andrews from
the Institute of Economic Affairs
with her Take of the Week.
I'm rarely a fan of Donald Trump's
But this time he's got a point.
He is wrong about the NHS
Making him a troll
of the highest order.
But he's right that the NHS
is on life support.
Criticise the American
system all you want.
But health care provision isn't
a black or white issue.
And 28 million uninsured
Americans are not proof
the UK has a good system.
Despite increased funding in real
terms the NHS remains in critical
condition in vital areas,
from maternity wards to A&E.
Winter flu caused yet another
crisis, resolved only by cancelling
50,000 operations in the first month
of the year.
Yet senior politicians are applauded
for making ridiculous claims
like the NHS is the envy
of the world, when in reality it
tends to rank in the bottom third
of health system performance
across the developed world.
The UK invented the concept
of universal coverage,
meaning everyone has access to care
regardless of ability to pay.
We are told it in
the DNA of the NHS.
But most of the developed world has
adopted the principle of universal
access through other means.
The centralised bureaucratic
monopoly that is the NHS is no
longer the best medicine.
It is a myth that we face a binary
choice between the NHS and the USA.
Both countries would do well to look
at the social health insurance
systems in Europe for prescriptions
for better, patient-centric care.
Who in their right mind could be
outside Britain looking in and think
this is a system worth emulating?
Nobody in the developed world should
envy the NHS, not even the USA.
That was Kate Andrews. She joins us
now. Welcome. Anna, if the NHS is
the envy of the world, why hasn't
another country copied it?
know the answer to that. I think
it's good. I think when it works
well, it's outstanding.
That is true
of anything if it works.
the NHS there is an idea that it is
either pretty average if not pretty
bad. There are problems.
one problem. Cancer survival rates.
They are not just worse than
Scandinavia, America, Canada or
Australia. For some cancers they are
worse than Brazil and Costa Rica.
Can't be that great if we can't
be better than Costa Rica.
have the stats in front of me. But
the advances that have been made
have been terrific. What is the
alternative? I think as a nation we
like an NHS that is free at the
point of delivery. It's part of our
DNA. I don't think people want to
change that. I'm not saying it
doesn't need more money. We have to
be honest about that. I'm not saying
it doesn't need to work better.
There are huge improvements that can
Let me bring Alan in.
don't think it is bust.
survival rates, 17th in Europe, 30th
and the world. Prostate cancer, 16th
in Europe, 26th in the world. Breast
cancer survival rates, 14th in
Europe, with these statistics you
can't be the envy of the world?
but we shouldn't defend the NHS on
the basis of some mythical, we are
the envy of the world, we should
base it on what it has done for the
British people. What it has done
more than anything else, and there
are other countries, Sweden,
Canada... Look at how difficult it
was to change our system. When it
was done by the Labour government
they needed a landslide majority to
do it. They were bitterly opposed by
doctors. They were bitterly opposed
by the opposition.
Nothing to do
with the performance now.
why nobody else had followed it.
When you are trapped in the system
you have got it is difficult to
change to a new system. There is
this issue of serenity, people's
peace of mind. It is measured in
terms of fairness by the
Commonwealth fund in America, who
put the NHS top. On the cancer
survival rates, there are all sorts
of issues about whether people
report early. Let me give you
instant mortality. The infant
mortality in America is about where
Britain was before the NHS was
created. 26 deaths for every 100,000
I don't think anybody would
say the American system is the envy
of the world. It's probably a good
idea not to follow it at all.
Would these figures not
be better if we spend more, if we
were closer to the European average
Possibly. I'm not fully
opposed to putting more money in the
NHS, but certainly not under the
system it has no. You mentioned
Sweden. Sweden has not copied the
NHS like-for-like. There are
significantly more private
provisions. It is the same in
Europe. The principle you are both
highlighted is still so very
important. America misses out on
that. They have more market
provisions. You don't have longer
waiting times. You're better
survival rates. Better preventative
care. I am hearing America being
held up as the strawman.
held up as the strawman. Nobody
wants the American system to be
brought to the UK. Surely we have
more to learn from Belgium,
Switzerland, Germany or France.
There is a lot to be learned,
especially since the NHS really is
lagging behind in Sunni areas.
if we learned from Sweden and
Switzerland and other countries, and
went to a social insurance system,
which won't happen for reasons Anna
says, but if we did, that is not
going to improve cancer rates
It will improve it much
faster than under the NHS. I don't
agree with that at all. This is not
simply an issue of funding being cut
recently. It has been lagging for
Why do you say it? Rig we need to
talk about it, people are dying. I
don't think people are not talking
about it, I want to know what your
solution is. Actually, I think our
system, at its heart, and in theory,
is absolutely right. Alan's point is
critical. This idea, which is so
important to Brits, you know it
doesn't matter, it will be there for
But he recognised that has been
That is true in France as
well. It is true in Belgium,
That is the insurance
That is not something we
should fear monger about. Every
single developed country in the
world apart from America gives
universal access to health care.
Let's not fear monger about what is
happening in Germany and Sweden,
these are not scary systems.
check your insurance.
of universal access has been adopted
by everybody, but the central
bureaucratic system has not. That is
why they get better outcomes. Can we
not just look at these systems to
get better care?
We can get it with
what we have got.
YouTube are great
Europeans. You were both Remainers.
You think we have a lot to learn and
be close to Europe. Why won't you
learn from European health systems
that have universal access and
better outcomes than the NHS?
have better funding.
all of them.
Germany and France came
below the Commonwealth fund.
Politicians on both sides are always
using it. It is the only one the NHS
does well on. In the Commonwealth
fund, it measures input, not output,
not patient care. Indeed, on the
patient care, an actual health
outcomes, even on the Commonwealth
fund, the NHS comes tenth out of
11th. The Guardian remarked on it,
the only serious black mark against
the NHS, in Commonwealth fund
research, was its poor record of
keeping people alive.
11th, by the way.
Why not Germany,
You are saying that Trump
has a point, are we supposed to talk
about Sweden when he said that?
his whole point is that the NHS is
failing, that does not make America
any better. I am from America, I'm
not coming over saying to adopt the
American system. As I said on the
video, I wish both countries would
look at Switzerland. Let's stop
painting it as a black-and-white
decision, it is not about the USA
against the NHS.
and is the only one that measures
things like health in equality,
fairness, how it affects the poorest
What is fair about
thousands of European people
surviving, the fact that 30,000 more
people in Germany every year will
survive the five most common types
When you quote that, as
if the NHS was very keen for people
to die of cancer...
Of the course
they are not.
It is people going to
their GP, particularly men...
need access to the GP, shorter
Please do not tell me
that you don't...
The waiting times
in this country are appalling
compared to European counterparts.
Depends where you live. Certain GP
surgeries like mine, I can see my GP
if I want to, on the morning that I
ring up and can get in straightaway.
It depends where you live.
not sound like a postcode lottery is
a fair system. He is talking about
fairness, but you are talking about
a postcode lottery.
You made a
You have both talked
about GP appointments. The European
health consumer index, done by real
specialists, it ranks the NHS 15th
in terms of health care in the EU.
We are around Slovakia and Portugal.
It says, in terms of same day GP
appointments, access to specialists
or waiting for routine surgery, in
Europe, only island does worse.
There is a real issue about access
to GP surgeries. There is a real
issue of waiting times with surgery.
There is an issue, 40,000 nursing
vacancies. There is an issue about
how by 2020 it will be 6.6% of our
wealth. It is higher in every other
European country, and below the OECD
average. They are not reasons why we
Are they scrapping it?
A system where if people are ill,
they get care immediately, does not
mean we should scrap that.
Tony Blair government was increasing
health spending in real terms, by
about 5 billion per year, you did
begin to see real improvements
taking place. This government has
not increased by anything like that.
If we did fund by the European
average, with some of the figures,
not good figures that I quoted,
would they not come better?
said, I think you can look at
increasing funding. But it is a
secondary issue to the broken
system. Under the Tony Blair years
we saw some improvements. Even
during those years, fortunately, the
NHS still fell below the European
counterparts. I am open to that
discussion. I am not being a radical
or an ideologue, but I so
desperately wish that politicians,
sitting across from me, would be
willing to engage on Germany,
Switzerland and France, because it
is not just the fact...
I think we
are willing to engage.
We have run
out of time. Thank you very much.
Good discussion. Lively! That is why
people watch This Week.
Stephen Kinnock and
Damian Green late.
These unlikely lads have been having
a delicious Twitter spat over
what Mr Kinnock calls his "24-hour
hunger strike" to campaign
for proportional representation.
They really are suckers for lost
causes in the Kinnock family.
Mr Green, erstwhile deputy
to the Maybot and now clearly
with time on his hands,
dismissed the protest
as "little more than a diet".
Probably a variant of the 5:2 diet.
No doubt delirious from the pangs
of hunger and fearful
that the Commons Canteen
was preparing to force feed him,
Mr Kinnock snapped back
that he was "glad to see"
that the unfortunate Mr Green
"was using his computer for Twitter"
instead of anything which might have
previously got him into trouble.
Absolutely no idea what he's
referring to there!
Stephen Kinnock said he'd been
inspired by the suffragette
movement, which had a big
anniversary this week.
And we do live in an age
when a little virtue
signalling goes a long way.
But someone who's perhaps -
just perhaps - this is no time
to go out on a limb -
in a better position to comment
on equal rights, is the singer
and Celebrity Big Brother winner,
Courtney Act who, is tonight putting
gender politics in the Spotlight.
And, if you'd like to comment
on the Tweeter, the Fleecebook,
and the Snapnumpty, then
be my guest.
I'm sure someone will read them.
Me, I'm consumed by indifference.
I'd rather fire myself into space
in an unmanned rocket,
with only a dummy astronaut
and a David Bowie LP
to keep me company.
At least I'd get a bit of peace.
And better conversation!
Beware three-legged poodles!
We learned this week that
Theresa May had one as a child.
Sadly the family pet
had gone "tri-pedal",
following an altercation with a car.
But despite a few wobbles,
the little creature adapted
and was apparently great.
Until she lost it in the wheat field
she was always illicitly running
through when she was
a wee scallywag.
Could there be a lesson
in this for the big dogs,
sniffing around Number
10 at the moment?
Despite being knocked sideways
by all and sundry as she holds
on grimly to the Brexit Bandwagon,
the Maybot is still standing.
The Tories are even four
points ahead of Labour
in a new poll out today.
A hundred years on from some women
first getting the vote,
politics is still a pretty bruising
business for men and women.
Here's the Telegraph's Kate McCann
with her round-up of the week.
Well, I'll say one
thing for This Week.
Man or woman, girl or boy, they
treat us all the same
They said they'd be here hours ago
to help me with this round-up.
I'd best get started.
The week began with a fresh salvo
over anti-Brexit bias on Whitehall.
Former head of the civil
service Gus O'Donnell
showed his own impartiality
when he compared pro-Brexit
ministers to snake oil salesmen.
He came back swinging later
in the House of Lords when he said
the attacks were a form of bullying.
Those making allegations
without supporting evidence,
against serving civil servants
who will not respond,
are undertaking a form
of bullying that, to be honest,
is something which actually
diminishes those making the attacks.
But I think, more importantly,
damages our democracy.
Now, any mandarins worried
about Brexit could take a leaf out
of David Davis's book.
The Brexit Secretary
turned up for the second
phase of talks this week,
claiming he was perfectly clear
about what he wants from the EU.
Atta boy, DD!
We want a comprehensive free trade
agreement, and with it,
a customs agreement.
And to make that as frictionless
as possible, to make as much trade
that currently exists
as free as possible.
While still giving ourselves
the opportunity to make free trade
deals with the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, the EU
was equally clear that DD
can't have it both ways.
The only thing I can say,
without a customs union,
outside the single market,
barriers to trade and goods,
and services, are unavoidable.
The time has come to make a choice.
The PM has probably done enough
to placate her pro-Brexit
backbenchers, at least for now.
And that just leaves the Remainers,
who are not going quietly.
This week, Anna Soubry had some
helpful advice for the PM.
Labour's front bench
itself is ideological.
My front bench probably isn't,
but it's in hock to 35 hard
ideological Brexiteers who are not
They are not the Tory party that
I joined 40 years ago,
and it's about time Theresa stood up
to them and slung them out.
Because they have taken down Major,
they took down Cameron.
The PM explained she's got
a different approach to leadership
than some of her male predecessors.
Women will often have a different
approach to leadership,
will often have a different approach
to doing a job from a man.
Just because it is different,
it doesn't mean it doesn't
get the same results.
Wait a minute, she expects
the same result.
Oh, my Maastricht.
Leadership is all
about carrying the can.
And discredit where discredit's due,
this week Carillion bosses
were in front of MPs to explain
what went wrong at the
Where have I put my keys?
What is your responsibility
for this collapse?
Full and complete.
There is no question
in my mind about that.
Not necessarily culpability,
but full responsibility.
and Virgin pulled of operating
the East Coast Mainline
earlier than expected.
And, at the same time,
the Government has awarded them
the contract to operate
the West Coast Mainline.
Labour weren't happy about it.
Virgin Stagecoach failed
to deliver on their contract
on the east coast route.
The Government will step
in and bail them out,
kissing goodbye to the £2 billion
Virgin had previously agreed to pay.
But, guess what?
Let's just give both companies
a new contract to run
the West Coast line as well.
Listening to the Secretary
of State's statement, I didn't know
whether to laugh or cry.
At Prime Minister's Questions,
Jeremy Corbyn went on police cuts.
The PM attacked Corbyn's
After seven years, seven years
of cuts, will the Prime Minister
today admit that her Government's
relentless cuts to police,
probation services and social
services have left us less safe?
The reality is, you can't have
public safety on the cheap.
You can only pay for our
public services if you
have a strong economy.
And what would we see
with the Labour Party?
Capital flight or
a run on the pound.
That is what Labour would do,
bankrupt Britain and the police
would have less money and a Labour
than under the Conservatives.
Something is working for her.
The latest YouGov poll
shows the Tories four
points ahead of Labour,
despite a tricky couple of weeks.
Never mind, Jeremy.
Gerry Adams thinks
you would be a good PM.
Put that on your posters!
I would like to see Jeremy in that
position, for the benefit
of people in Britain,
leaving Ireland out of it.
I think Jeremy is an
I hope my endorsement of him isn't
used against him in the time ahead.
You know what?
We've come so far.
The vote, and, 100
years on, equal pay.
Well, not actually equal, legally.
Harassment free workplaces?
A woman's work is never done.
And that was Kate in black and
white. Here she is in colour.
Welcome. Alan, where the Tories four
points ahead in this latest opinion
A very good question. I don't
know but I saw this focus group
response about, who would you trust
to look after your house if you were
away? People went overwhelmingly for
Theresa May. Who would you have look
after your pets? Jeremy Corbyn.
There is a message there that the
compassion side isn't getting
through to the hard-headed if you
want to run the country. We should
be storming it and we are not. This
is a message for those people losing
to think we won the last election.
Add to that the fact sectarian
politics are coming back. Momentum
are taking over the NEC. They are
taking over all the levers of power.
For those of us who remember, this
smacks very much like the early 80s.
And that intolerance, that
divisiveness, we have seen it in
Haringey Council and all of that, I
don't think it does is any good.
Neither should it.
What does he know
that he is not telling us?
just said it. He is more subtle than
I am. The problem is Jeremy Corbyn.
Is that right?
I'm reluctant to say
because of what happened at the last
election. That was good. We have
hoovered the votes on the left. The
Greens have hollowed out. Respect
have disappeared. They won a
by-election not so long ago. We have
even got the SWP walking about with
banners. Saying back Corbyn. The day
when the Trotskyites are saying back
the leader of the Labour Party, you
know you are in trouble. He has the
votes on the left. Is there the
capacity to win over the people who
voted Tory last time? No. It is
difficult to imagine.
Is Mrs May
doing better than the Westminster
I think so. Anna and
I were talking about it. It is
probably because Theresa May is
confident talking about women's
issues, things like the suffragettes
and getting women into Parliament.
She didn't really good speech in
Manchester this week were to give
some insight into her own feelings
about being a woman, being a leader.
When she said, you don't have to
behave like a man to get on, I think
for her to show that side, that
compassion, that personality, that
is really positive for her. She
clearly felt confident doing it.
has a great track record.
the Mrs May to stand up to 35
hardline Brexiteers and sling them
out. How would that work?
She has to
stand up to these people. Had used
Lingen held? She has got to put them
absolutely in their place. -- how do
you sling them out?
You said sling
them out, there's -- they were your
I'm deeply frustrated. I
joined the party 40 years ago where
I was fighting these people. They
brought down to leaders of my party
and they have not been sorted out.
You rejoined the Tory party when
Iain Duncan Smith was later.
was slung out.
He was hardly your
kind of progressive Tory.
Hang on, I
joined the Tory party because he did
not represent the majority of
Conservative voters. That is why he
was removed as leader. He didn't do
that and he didn't do a very good
job. My one nation conservatism is
40 years old. And actually, quite
interestingly, it's exactly the same
conservatism of my parents who met
in the Young Conservatives.
left the Tory party?
going to join the social Democrats.
I wasn't, actually.
You wrote a
letter to the Times.
My name was on
it. But I never actually...
telling us tonight now that you
don't think Mrs May should sling out
I'm using that as
an absolute metaphor for sorting of
this party in the state it is in.
For decades there has been a group
of people, in my opinion they are
not true conservatives, who have put
forward their very narrow view on
Europe at all costs. I don't think
to reset appreciates that if they
don't get what they want, nobody, no
party will stand in the way of their
hard Brexit. They are ruthless macro
-- they're ruthless. They're
But he wouldn't sling
I don't want these people
to be doing the harm they have done
to the Conservative Party.
Minister took the Tory whip away
from them, the government would
fall, wouldn't it?
If it comes to
it, and it will come to it,
something is going to happen. At the
moment to reset thinks she can keep
us together. To reset thinks she can
build a compromise. I admire her for
ambition. I think you underestimate
these people because when it comes
to the crunch could they don't get
what they want, they will vote her
down and they will remove her.
she did sling them out, she would
lose out as well. The government
would fall, wouldn't it?
Not on Brexit. Do forgive me.
No, I think it is time for Kate.
think the problem you're underlining
here is that there will come a
point, and we are quickly reaching
it, were Conservatives feel that
Brexit is more important than their
party. That is on both sides. Anna's
site and Jacob Rees-Mogg's side.
When that happens, Theresa May faces
a real problem. When the party is no
longer the most important thing to
people in it, that is when you see a
split. That is coming. Both sides of
the argument have their right to say
because, of course, when the Brexit
vote happened, nobody is set out
what the picture was going to be
like when we left. Both sides are
vying to determine what that is.
big differences -- differences that
I am a pragmatic Tory so I will
always compromise. These people
want. They will use any tactic
available to them to quash the
argument and get what they want.
it comes to a vote on the eventual
deal that is done on Brexit, will
you still vote for it even if it
doesn't include being in the Customs
I could do that, if it is in
the round and delivers a good deal.
This is a mark of my pragmatism. It
depends what else it had with it. To
be honest, it is difficult to
imagine, especially after these
figures, first of all how Theresa
May is going to get these magic
deals. But secondly, it's difficult
to believe how getting membership of
the single market, getting
membership of the Customs Union, not
getting that will have the benefits
to our economy.
I understand that.
It is interesting that you may still
vote for that. Is it not
remarkable... Is not remarkable,
Alan, that 19 months after the
referendum, almost a year since
Article 50 was triggered, with only
nine months of negotiations left,
this Tory government still hasn't
agreed its position?
It is quite
amazing. You can see some kind of
logic. I read DfT last week saying
that of course we are now heading
for a soft Brexit. I read Ian Martin
today saying we're heading for a
hard Brexit. She is trying to keep
those views in play. She is either a
genius, which I doubt, in smoothing
over this. She has a tough job, to
be fair. But that is the frustration
of the Europeans. They still don't
know what we want.
Allen, being a
benign chap, has raised the
possibility she is a genius. I would
raise a more likely probability that
she is just taking indecision to new
I think that is more
likely. The problem is when you have
a vacuum of that magnitude it is
going to be filled. It is being sold
on both sides of the argument.
her defence, I know what she wants
to do is keep us together. I think
that is impossible.
What is more
likely? 35 Brexiteers being slung
out of the Tory party, or are you
defecting to the Lib Dems?
are being a silly Billy X not going
to the Lib Dems.
You heard it there
What about Labour?
really going to join Jeremy Corbyn,
So happy birthday women's suffrage.
It was a hundred years
ago, this week in 1918,
that the Representation
of the People Act was passed.
This rather grudging piece
of legislation first granted
women the right to vote -
but only if they were over 30,
and only if they owned property.
The act also gave over five million
working class men the vote as well,
though we've heard very little
about that, even though
it was almost as significant
in its own way.
These were the folks who'd been sent
to the trenches in 1914,
by a government they'd played no
part in choosing.
Over the past 100 years,
the world has changed more
than in the previous 1,000 years,
nearly always for the better.
We've flown to the moon,
created the inter web,
mapped our genome, defeated fascism
and communism, seen the spread
of democracy and taken hundred
of millions out of abject poverty.
Yet proper gender equality
still seems to elude us.
If you doubt that, look
at the under-representation
of women in the Commons,
or in FTSE 100 boardrooms.
Look at the unequal pay scales,
or the soft porn that
passes for pop videos.
Look at Harvey Weinstein.
So, tonight, we're putting gender
politics in the Spotlight.
Women fought hard for voting rights.
Some people had the most
But a century on, the battle
for gender equality still rages.
We do not yet have equality.
We are a long way from equal power.
The fight for equality never ends.
It is just beginning
for a female Tesco workers.
Our job is of equal value
to the job the men do
in the distribution centres.
I think the similarities are such
that we should be paid the same.
But do equal rights eradicate gender
Women often bring a different
approach to politics than do men.
Does that different approach
It's so useful to be corrected
by a helpful gentleman here.
How about a bit of good
While I've got you here,
John, can I just ask,
have you apologised to Carrie Gracie
for the remarks you made
about her stance on equal pay?
I wrote her an e-mail immediately
after that exchange, yes I did,
as a matter of fact.
I'm very glad to hear that.
Quite what this has to do
with what we are discussing
here, I fail to see.
But there we are.
Superman gave a masterclass
in mansplaining this week.
Maternal love is the love
that's going to change
the future of mankind.
We like to say peoplekind,
not necessarily mankind.
It's more inclusive.
There we go, exactly!
Well JT, I'm afraid that
probably means you're not
going to like this news.
Girl power is back.
Courtney Act is the Spice
Girls' number one fan.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's Courtney!
So is gender a useful
dividing line in politics?
Courtney is here. Welcome.
for having me. Are we getting to
honk up on gender politics? It can
be fairly -- very polarising. I
think the conversation needs to be
had because it is easy to say we are
to honk up and stop the evolution.
There is still a lot of stuff that
needs to be looked at. I sometimes
wear there is yelling too loudly
from opposite sides of the room to
It is getting
complicated. You identify yourself
as gender queer, have I got that
Have I got that right?
Yeah. I grew up confused about how I
fit into the world as a male bodied
person who by day wasn't all that
masculine. I grew up in Australia.
These masculine ideals and feminine
ideals that were sort of thrust upon
us. I never really felt like I was
masculine enough. I do drag. I would
sort of be able by day and I felt
like I didn't fit in. I wasn't quite
right. All through my 20s I
struggled. A few years ago I had --
heard gender queer being bandied
around. I realised there was a place
where my phone amended -- femininity
and masculinity could be celebrated.
That doesn't just mean dressing as a
woman or a man. As a boy, expressing
my feminine side. I used to feel
comfortable wearing the colour pink
as a boy. To me, this socialised
idea of men and woman really
impacted me, even though I'm
probably a lot further left than
You said we have made
progress, that is clear. But it
still seems a struggle. We make
progress in some areas but then we
seem to go backwards or hit a brick
wall in others. Why is it such a
I think the issue comes in
the style of argument. When people
are having a conversation they are
not listening, they are not
listening to other people's
experiences enough. They are quick
to say, this is my experience. That
must be what everybody's
experiences. And not just that, but
I think people get passionate about
things, which is good. But when they
get passionate they stopped the give
and take and flow of the
Because you feel so
strongly about it you don't listen
to the other side?
Year. And not
just on gender but in politics.
it a case of two steps forward, one
Having grown up in an age where
women were treated badly, to be gay
was to be chemically castrated by
the state, these changes, in your
lifetime as well, they have been
remarkable. Why is it so difficult?
Because women were not supposed to
be in the workplace at the time I
was born. Trade unions used to
object to women.
Really? In the old
days, the TUC was male dominated.
Now they have a female general
It took a long time.
I worry, this
wretched dining club thing that
happened the other week really
shocked me. 2018 and women, young
women, were still be used as bait
for old and powerful men. I am the
mother of two daughters, and I think
they are pretty strong cookies, I
think that generation has got some
of the better attitudes. But I still
worry about what young women really
are. I worry about how to many of
them are still self harming, too
many of them have problems with
food. We see a rise in issues with
body image and self-confidence. That
worries me. I think we have to get
that stuff right.
You are going to
work, is that right? Where are you
Tonight? I am going to a club
and dancing around on stage,
We thought we worked
late! This is early for you? We are
glad you found time for us. It has
been great to see you and listen to
That's your lot tonight.
But not for us.
Inspired by Donald Trump's plans
to imitate President Macron's
Bastille Day military parade,
we're upstaging both with our very
own This Week parade.
A dozen red, white and blue
Sinclair C5s are revved up
and raring to go outside the studio.
Choc-full of Blue Nun
and parked on double-yellows.
That's how cavalier we are.
Biggles Soubry is taking
to the skies over Westminster
to perform, once again,
her famous loop de loop
in the Newsnight microlite.
While Corporal Johnson is leading
the Dagenham Girl Pipers down
Whitehall, in a rousing rendition
of Things Can Only Get Better.
We've hidden his guitar,
but I hear he's nicked
some spoons from the BBC
canteen so he can play along.
Anyway, we're off and we're
not stopping till we
make it to Loulou's.
Don't let the shenanigans
of the Irish Parliament bite.
ALL SHOUT AT ONCE
ALL SHOUT AT ONCE
I'm going to move on. Control
yourself! Control yourself!
Deputies, I will take action.
You all so in violation of
regulations. I suspend the house!
You will not speak to the chair like
I can speak to anybody...
suspend the house for five minutes.
Andrew Neil reviews the political week with Alan Johnson and Anna Soubry, with a film rounding up the headlines from Kate McCann.
The studio guests are Kate Andrews talking about President Trump and the NHS, while Courtney Act discuss gender in the Spotlight section.